The 10 Benefits of Mentoring Others
- Not all the benefits of mentoring accrue to the mentees.
- Mentors benefit in multiple ways from mentoring.
- Among the benefits of mentoring: seeing one’s knowledge deployed in creative new ways.
- Mentors find personal renewal in mentoring.
Question: What do a teacher, editor, real estate agent, project manager, professor, transformational thought leader, and psychoanalyst have in common? Answer: They all benefit from mentoring!
How often are you thinking about the mentor when you think of mentoring?
Mentoring is a dual relationship with a mentor passing on knowledge, skills, and values to a mentee. The give/take connection between mentor and mentee can seem very one-sided. After all, we all know mentees benefit as the recipient.
But what about mentors? What motivates them to give back to others? Is it simply altruism or something else that keeps mentors giving? Most of us don’t give much thought to this side of the relationship, but it is worth viewing mentorship from the mentor’s perspective.
Mentors report personal satisfaction and professional success (Lafleur, 2010). There is also the pride in investing in the future of a workplace or industry. There are also the more obvious work-related benefits to mentors: improving skills and expanding networks (Howard, 2018).
But, mentors aren’t only in the workplace. I’ve asked seven prolific mentors what they get out of mentoring in and outside the workplace. They all benefit from mentoring others.
The 10 Benefits of Mentoring Others
Javier Francario – Teacher
- Inspiration, Satisfaction
“Mentoring makes me feel full, satisfied, and happy about a great job done. It inspires me to look for more.” Javier is a science teacher in Argentina, and a mentor with The Mentor Project, developing and running hackathons for students worldwide. He mentors because he learns something new from his mentees at each hackathon, and they inspire him to continue learning.
Hara Estroff Marano, the Editor at Large for Psychology Today and author of A Nation of Wimps
- Pride, Connection, Legacy
Hara has edited thousands of articles and books. The evidence of her mentorship is evident in the written words that have been gracing the pages of books, magazines, and online blogs for decades. As a mentor, Ms. Marano feels great pride that the information she has developed is helpful to others, that she is needed, and her influence provides her with a legacy. She says, “I take pleasure in seeing new ways my knowledge is deployed by others.” Each time she works with a mentee, she can impart her wisdom in a fresh way, which keeps her work interesting.
Susan Jaquet, Real estate agent (30+ years)
- Career Benefits
Susan first met her mentee as a favor to a friend. She was going to give him some advice about entering a career in real estate. He was looking to “shadow” a well-established, top agent, but she was not looking to expand her team. Still, after reading his resume, she realized he had skills that could prove helpful (language, social media, writing, and technology).
She has been mentoring him for nine months and couldn’t be happier with the situation. The careers of both benefit from the relationship. “After starting with the unspoken assumption that my mentee was the one who stood to gain the most from our professional collaboration, it quickly became clear that I had at least as much or more to gain. When two people at different career stages both devote time and energy, it invariably becomes a win/win!”
Irene Yachbes – Project manager at IBM, board member at The Mentor Project
- Personal Growth, Passion
Irene is a researcher at work and outside of work; she is a board member of The Mentor Project, mentoring students of all ages from around the globe. “There are the obvious benefits of mentoring—you enjoy helping others and feeling like you are making a difference for them, and it makes you proud when you see your mentees grow and succeed.”
Both inside and outside the work setting, mentoring is a value to Irene, but mentoring isn’t always evident in career advancement or other outward-facing benefits.
“There are the other, less obvious benefits to me: When I am mentoring someone, it reminds me how much I know/my expertise. You are the greatest expert in an area where you can do work and explain to others how to do it. This is a huge confidence-builder.”
“Mentoring reminds me how much I care about the subject matter, and it reignites my passion for a topic.”
Mark Beal, Assistant professor and author of Gen Z Graduates To Adulthood
Professor Beal mentors students in the classroom and outside the classroom. His primary study area is Generation Z, born between 1997 and 2012, and the cohort succeeding Millennials. “As Generation Z, the purpose generation, represents today’s college students and recent graduates, mentoring Gen Z has become my purpose after a 30-year career in public relations and marketing.
One day, I recognized that by leveraging my career experiences and vast professional network to benefit Gen Z students and young professionals, mentoring the next generation is my purpose now and for the next few decades. Ultimately, it will be my legacy.”
Liana Chaouli, Transformational thought leader
- Personal Growth
Liana is an image consultant and transformational thought leader, helping individuals find their authentic selves. As a person focused on assisting others in finding personal growth, she finds it for herself when she mentors. “It is the blessing of my learning.
Being a mentor is a constant “university daily, “a space where I get to grow as much as my students or mentees. I believe that without this opportunity, I would not be who I am or where I am today.”
Jessica Broitman, Psychoanalyst, author of Understanding Nonverbal Learning Disability
- Spiritual, Emotional, Legacy
Dr. Broitman is a psychoanalyst and has mentored individuals through her work as a psychoanalyst and outside of work. She connects with individuals through her passions and leadership roles in politics and learning.
“I’ve probably trained 1,000 therapists because I ran a clinic for 20 years. And it’s joyous to watch them develop their voices. I get tremendous satisfaction in watching how they take things from me.
And it feels very much like the joy of raising a child and that you give them a lot of help and support and space to become their person. So it’s a win-win for me. It feels like it’s a gift to them and me. It feels like I’m living on, and it’s a very positive and strong emotional and spiritual feeling. I love being a mentor. It feels like a gift.”
Each of these mentors benefits from their experience as a mentor, and they treasure the opportunity. Too often, people feel intimidated by experts and shy away from asking for mentorship.
Mentorship is not a burden for mentors. Quite the contrary, it is a deep, meaningful experience for the mentor. The value of mentorship goes well beyond the benefits to the mentee.
While the voices of mentors are not often heard, their legacies live on in every mentee’s life through their legacy tree.